On Jan 14, 4:41 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> > Thought I'd throw this out there. If computationalism argues that
> > zombies can't exist,
> I think the two ideas "zombies are impossible" and computationalism are
> independent.  Where you might say they are related is that a disbelief in
> zombies yields a strong argument for computationalism.

I don't think that it's possible to say that any two ideas 'are'
independent from each other. All ideas can be related through semantic
association, however distant. As far as your point though, of course I
see the opposite relation - while admitting even the possibility of
zombies suggests computationalism is founded on illusion., but a
disbelief in zombies gives no more support for computationalism than
it does for materialism or panpsychism.

> > therefore anything that we cannot distinguish
> > from a conscious person must be conscious, that also means that it is
> > impossible to create something that acts like a person which is not a
> > person. Zombies are not Turing emulable.
> I think there is a subtle difference in meaning between "it is impossible
> to create something that acts like a person which is not a person" and
> saying "Zombies are not Turing emulable".  It is important to remember that
> the non-possibility of zombies doesn't imply a particular person or thing
> cannot be emulated, rather it means there is a particular consequence of
> certain Turing emulations which is unavoidable, namely the
> consciousness/mind/person.

That's true, in the sense that emulable can only refer to a specific
natural and real process being emulated rather than a fictional one.
You have a valid point that the word emulable isn't the best term, but
it's a red herring since the point I was making is that it would not
be possible to avoid creating sentience in any sufficiently
sophisticated cartoon, sculpture, or graphic representation of a
person. Call it emulation, simulation, synthesis, whatever, the result
is the same. You can't make a machine that acts like a person without
it becoming a person automatically. That clearly is ridiculous to me.

> > If we run the zombie argument backwards then, at what substitution
> > level of zombiehood does a (completely possible) simulated person
> > become an (non-Turing emulable) unconscious puppet? How bad of a
> > simulation does it have to be before becoming an impossible zombie?
> > This to me reveals an absurdity of arithmetic realism. Pinocchio the
> > boy is possible to simulate mechanically, but Pinocchio the puppet is
> > impossible. Doesn't that strike anyone else as an obvious deal breaker?
> Not every Turing emulable process is necessarily conscious.

Why not? What makes them unconscious? You can't draw the line in one
direction but not the other. If you say that anything that seems to
act alive well enough must be alive, then you also have to say that
anything that does not seem conscious may just be poorly programmed.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to